QuickBooks Desktop for Mac vs. QuickBooks Online

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
Score 7.8 out of 10
N/A
Quickbooks Desktop for Mac is an accounting software designed for Mac users. It is designed to integrate with Apple iCloud. It provides core accounting features in line with the rest of the Quickbooks Desktop product line.N/A
QuickBooks Online
Score 7.9 out of 10
N/A
QuickBooks Online is a SaaS version of the QuickBooks product. It contains all of the features found in the local version. Higher-priced plans include greater automation, payment management, inventory and time tracking, and analytics features.
$15
per month
Pricing
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Self-Employed
$15
per month
Simple Start
$25
per month
Plus
$75
per month
Advanced
$150
per month
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Free Trial
NoYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Considered Both Products
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
QuickBooks for Mac is great because it has an offline version and cloud storage capabilities. QuickBooks Online is a cheaper alternative but in the event of needing to access the database without internet access, it's nice to have it backed up when you need it. Plus QuickBooks …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
I tried switching to QBO (QuickBooks Online) a couple of times. And in both cases it was disastrous. The software is buggy and the workflow is not at all like what I was used to in Desktop and so I felt like there was a brand new learning curve. You would think that they would …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
Xero has tried copying what Quickbooks offers but it is missing a lot of features and it is not as easy to navigate through.
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
QuickBooks for Mac definitely outshines other competitors mainly due to its ability to sync seamlessly with all mac products, which other programs have continual problems with. Although the Mac version isn't quite as powerful as the Microsoft counterpart, it is still one of the …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
I feel that the online (QBO)version is the platform of the future. With third party companies building solid apps and plugins that integrate with QBO seamlessly, the desktop versions are becoming limited.
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
QuickBooks Mac really is incredible. As a mac user for 10 years, I found this software easy to use and understand. It has a beautiful layout without sacrificing any of the ample features that made me fall in love with QuickBooks Pro.

  • Scheduled Reports: The ability to automate …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
I originally reviewed 2 programs back in 1994 and chose QuickBooks. I have been upgrading my QuickBook versions since that time and haven't evaluated any other accounting software programs
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
QuickBooks for Mac 2015 has been updated consistently over the last 3 years and continues to provide for the bookkeeping needs of small companies using Macs in their offices. However, it has limited job costing functionality. Outside of that limitation, it is similar in …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
QuickBooks for Mac is roughly equivalent in functionality to QuickBooks Pro for Windows. It has better job costing than QuickBooks Online with roughly equivalent inventory functionality. QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Wave offer anytime, anywhere functionality for multiple users …
Chose QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
I did not select the Mac version for my own business. I don't use a Mac but I have access to one. I do know how to use and support the Mac version. I use all of the various QB versions as necessary to support my clients on a regular basis. I still feel that QB for Mac is not …
QuickBooks Online
Chose QuickBooks Online
I chose QuickBooks Online primarily because I had the most experience with it. Although the desktop versions will generally have more robust reporting and some areas of versatility, QuickBooks Online has the best immediate access when it comes to support and it's online …
Chose QuickBooks Online
Ultimately, QuickBooks/Intuit has the most market share when it comes to accounting software. The benefit of so many people using this software is that there's always an answer to a problem that you may be having when it comes to using the software. Intuit has provided a …
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and QuickBooks Online are both accounting software designed to handle financial data, invoicing, and reporting. Both solutions are popular with small businesses, though QuickBooks online is also used by many mid-sized companies.

QuickBooks Online is a popular choice for businesses looking for a cloud-based accounting solution. In contrast, organizations wanting to use a desktop application prefer QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

Features

Both QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and QuickBooks Online provide essential accounting features such, but both solutions also have some standout features.

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac includes a simple user interface that is familiar for Mac users and simple to learn for Windows users. Additionally, data is easy to convert from windows accounting software to QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. Almost all features available on QuickBooks Windows software is also available on the Mac version.

QuickBooks online offers robust remote access features, allowing accounting teams to access records and data easily. Additionally, QuickBooks Online includes flexible administration tools that enable simple setup for user roles and permissions. Lastly, QuickBooks online can update and generate reports on the fly as data is added, ensuring that reports are always up to date.

Limitations

Though QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and QuickBooks Online both offer robust accounting features, there are a few areas where they have limitations as well.

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac can have some difficulties migrating data from other tools or apps. Similarly, some users have noted that when restoring data to QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, small user errors can result in loss of data. Lastly, users familiar with QuickBooks for Windows may notice a few missing features.

QuickBooks Online users report occasional data loss when transitioning from desktop apps to the cloud. Additionally, QuickBooks Online reporting lacks some features available on the desktop version. Reporting on QuickBooks Online is also a little slower than other cloud-based accounting software.

Pricing

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac costs $299.95 for up to three users and includes all reporting features.

Free trials are available for the software for thirty days. QuickBooks Online offers three pricing tiers. The Simple Start package includes essential features for a single user at $12.00 per month. The essentials tier is priced at $20.00 per month and supports up to three users with added invoicing features. Lastly, the Plus tier supports up to five users for $35.00 per month and includes inventory tracking features.

Features
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Payroll Management
Comparison of Payroll Management features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
10.0
11 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
5.8
78 Ratings
Pay calculation10.09 Ratings5.969 Ratings
Benefit plan administration10.06 Ratings4.631 Ratings
Direct deposit files10.08 Ratings6.464 Ratings
Salary revision and increment management10.05 Ratings5.844 Ratings
Reimbursement management10.07 Ratings6.345 Ratings
Customization
Comparison of Customization features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
6.0
11 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
5.7
69 Ratings
API for custom integration6.07 Ratings5.455 Ratings
Plug-ins6.010 Ratings5.958 Ratings
Security
Comparison of Security features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
10.0
20 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
6.9
109 Ratings
Single sign-on capability10.020 Ratings6.882 Ratings
Role-based user permissions10.017 Ratings7.1103 Ratings
Reporting & Analytics
Comparison of Reporting & Analytics features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
10.0
22 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
7.3
132 Ratings
Dashboards10.019 Ratings7.0124 Ratings
Standard reports10.022 Ratings7.6128 Ratings
Custom reports10.022 Ratings7.3116 Ratings
General Ledger and Configurable Accounting
Comparison of General Ledger and Configurable Accounting features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
5.2
24 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
6.2
143 Ratings
Accounts payable6.924 Ratings7.0122 Ratings
Accounts receivable6.923 Ratings7.6131 Ratings
Cash management5.618 Ratings6.6119 Ratings
Bank reconciliation7.324 Ratings7.6137 Ratings
Expense management5.720 Ratings6.7123 Ratings
Time tracking5.612 Ratings5.455 Ratings
Fixed asset management5.614 Ratings6.454 Ratings
Multi-currency support1.110 Ratings5.423 Ratings
Multi-division support5.611 Ratings5.242 Ratings
Regulations compliance5.610 Ratings6.538 Ratings
Electronic tax filing6.915 Ratings6.266 Ratings
Self-service portal5.613 Ratings5.266 Ratings
Global Financial Support1.07 Ratings4.716 Ratings
Primary and Secondary Ledgers5.613 Ratings5.834 Ratings
Intercompany Accounting5.614 Ratings6.729 Ratings
Localizations1.06 Ratings6.621 Ratings
Journals and Reconciliations5.717 Ratings7.174 Ratings
Enterprise Accounting5.65 Ratings5.926 Ratings
Configurable Accounting5.69 Ratings6.138 Ratings
Centralized Rules Framework5.69 Ratings5.724 Ratings
Standardized Processes5.613 Ratings6.348 Ratings
Inventory Management
Comparison of Inventory Management features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
7.6
15 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
5.0
48 Ratings
Inventory tracking5.614 Ratings4.846 Ratings
Automatic reordering7.810 Ratings4.722 Ratings
Location management7.09 Ratings5.021 Ratings
Manufacturing module10.08 Ratings5.617 Ratings
Order Management
Comparison of Order Management features of Product A and Product B
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
8.3
18 Ratings
QuickBooks Online
6.1
86 Ratings
Pricing10.017 Ratings7.156 Ratings
Order entry10.016 Ratings7.054 Ratings
Credit card processing10.017 Ratings6.364 Ratings
Cost of goods sold10.016 Ratings6.368 Ratings
Order Orchestration5.76 Ratings6.221 Ratings
End-to-end order visibility6.77 Ratings6.020 Ratings
Order exception Resolution5.66 Ratings4.018 Ratings
User Ratings
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Likelihood to Recommend
7.3
(32 ratings)
6.1
(159 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.0
(9 ratings)
7.3
(23 ratings)
Usability
5.4
(6 ratings)
6.5
(75 ratings)
Availability
9.0
(2 ratings)
10.0
(7 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(5 ratings)
Support Rating
5.5
(5 ratings)
5.4
(72 ratings)
Implementation Rating
5.0
(2 ratings)
5.3
(8 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
3.6
(2 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
3.9
(2 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
3.9
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
QuickBooks Desktop for MacQuickBooks Online
Likelihood to Recommend
Intuit
If you're a freelancer or running a very small business where you do your own bookkeeping I think this is a great option, especially if you're familiar with accounting and bookkeeping in general. If you're not so familiar with bookkeeping, I would say that the learning curve is too steep and you might want to look elsewhere for a more intuitive solution
Read full review
Intuit
QuickBooks has long been a standard when it's come to small business accounting. Their tools work, the user interface is fairly intuitive to navigate, and it has suited the needs of our small business (11-20 employees) for the past 10 years. However, as we continue to grow and come into a greater need to control our branding, we find that QuickBooks Online often limits us in customization and branding. Plus, it just has some odds quirks in the coding of how the invoices are setup up that often requires us to "fight against the system" in order to accomplish what we want in our invoice structure.
Read full review
Pros
Intuit
  • The program is very easy to learn, the interface is incredibly user-friendly and there are tons of free resources and tutorials available
  • It makes managing payroll really easy for the employee and accountant on staff. No more lost time sheets or late paychecks!
  • Managing bills and paying them has become streamlined and it's great having everything in one place so we don't lose track of things.
Read full review
Intuit
  • It enables me to do a P&L for each specific program as requested by the county for the grant money that they give us.
  • It enables me to do [an] organizational budget as well as a budget for each specific program
  • It enables the accountant and the auditor access at any time for transparency
Read full review
Cons
Intuit
  • The #1 complaint is that setting it up right is a challenge. People waste time trying to figure it out only to realize that they don't know accounting so of course they don't know how an accounting program should be set up. Like any time you are in over your head, reach out to your network and find someone who can log onto your computer and walk you through it.
  • If you need to track the cost of wages to jobs you can't do it with the online payroll, but check for yourself because it's a function that landscaping companies and construction businesses usually need, so maybe they have added it by now. That would really help!
  • It's premise-based software and that means you take on the role of hardware admin, and it's a lot of work for what is increasingly becoming a smaller gap in the functionality between QuickBooks for Mac and QuickBooks Online.
  • QuickBooks for Mac 2015 has been updated consistently over the last 3 years and continues to provide for the bookkeeping needs of small companies using Macs in their offices. However, it has limited job costing functionality. It is similar in functionality to the 2010 version of QuickBooksPro which runs on Windows.
Read full review
Intuit
  • The budgets feature leaves a lot be desired - difficult and clunky to populate and maintain.
  • Reporting for Budget vs Actual is available but the ability to reforecast based on updated data is not.
  • The rules function to default common types of expenses isn't perfect and will get confused if like amounts or a number of similar items present.
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Likelihood to Renew
Intuit
I haven't spent that much time with the newer versions of QuickBooks for Mac, but I think I'm seeing it make the much-needed improvements. For example, something as simple as undoing the previous reconciliation was a terrible chore, and I'm glad that feature has been included in the newer versions of QuickBooks for Mac
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Intuit
It like the product 'right out of the box' and I trust Intuit will continually improve it over the years based on my experience with their desktop products. The large providers of Apps makes customizing the entire package relatively easy and seamless for a wide variety of business types.
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Usability
Intuit
The Mac version is OK overall. I find the Windows versions to be much more robust but Mac is quite good for Mac users. Though I think die hard Mac users should consider QuickBooks Online instead as there is a new QB for Mac app that makes using QBO much better!
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Intuit
Do NOT use their premium payroll. It's expensive and [I feel like] their customer service is horrible. I spent almost 4 hours trying to get an answer to a simple question about a 941 form they filed. They kept transferring me around to various people and every single time they couldn't find the 941 form I had a question on. I had to do a screenshare to show them where it was! I got disconnected three times and they never called back. They also told me that I would have to talk to the IRS at one point. I refused and told them that they were filing these forms on our behalf, they were doing the calculations so they should be able to answer my questions. I asked several times to talk to a supervisor and they wouldn't transfer me to one. They just said that they could put in a request for a supervisor to call me back in 24-48 hours! It was just unbelievable how horrible it was.
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Reliability and Availability
Intuit
I've been using the QuickBooks online version for a little over 6 months now (upgraded from Mac desktop) and I haven't had any access issues. There have been times when it was down for service/upgrade however there is always plenty of notification time given by the Quick Books Online Support team. These upgrade maintenance time frames are always over night hours and on the weekends so everything can be worked around very easily.
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Intuit
We have rarely had outages in the last 10 years. I can only recall 2 times in the last 10 years where we were not able to access our client files.
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Performance
Intuit
No answers on this topic
Intuit
There are tab issues. When I tab the field doesn't highlight and I have to backspace or delete what is in the field. Happens on the memo field and sometimes other fields. Very time consuming.
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Support Rating
Intuit
Fortunately, I haven't had to reach out much for support.
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Intuit
Support is great, all incidents been resolved. Quickbooks Online forum is very well organized and helpful. I like the fact that they let the community contribute in resolving issues. Most or many of your answers can be found online. You can also get help on YouTube, but the easiest way to get assistance is through their chat system.
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Implementation Rating
Intuit
No answers on this topic
Intuit
The person in charge of QB needs to be very accurate with record keeping and is recommended to stay on top of tasks. The biggest issue we have is reconciliation, and those issues occur only when too much time has occurred between reconciliations
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Alternatives Considered
Intuit
I love using Quickbooks compared to other software we've tried. QuickBooks Online and TSheets interface. Customer service and problem resolution are generally excellent, with well-trained and proficient agents taking calls or on chat. Ease of use and accessibility via the mobile app. Great courses were available to help with learning the basics and some advanced accounting background. I love learning! Online accessibility - it can work anywhere with an internet connection. Linking to bank and credit card accounts is handy.
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Intuit
I have used Wave Accounting for another business. I selected QuickBooks Online over Wave because of the features available from QuickBooks. Wave is great since it is free, but I feel that paying for QuickBooks Online is worth it for the features. In addition there is such a robust support network and training available for QuickBooks.
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Scalability
Intuit
No answers on this topic
Intuit
As we have grown along our professional path, we have also expanded our use of QB. The scalability is easy and features seem to be waiting for you until you need them. We have increased profits by over 10x from our first year in business to the current and have yet to find a reason to look elsewhere
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Return on Investment
Intuit
  • The ROI was good for when we were a smaller company because it is a lot cheaper than other more sophisticated programs.
  • The negative impact is that it caused a lot of extra manual entering and data entry that too often resulted in mistakes.
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Intuit
  • Overall, QuickBooks Online is a great investment for the company of our size (small software startup).
  • QuickBooks Online supports all the key functions of our company's accounting team.
  • QuickBooks Online definitely made the life of our accounting team much easier which let us focus on more important issues outside of bookkeeping.
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